Posts Tagged ‘louis l’amore’

“I never was one for rushing through a country. I like to take my time breathe the air, get the feel of it. I like to smell it, taste it get it located in my brain. The thing to remember when traveling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you travel for. “ Louis L’Amore

A coot and a turtle inspect each other. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

The mile and a half walk around 40-Acre Lake at Brazos Bend State Park is one of my favorites. While I’ve walked it many times, each time around is different.

Some days the stroll to the observation tower is filled with black-bellied whistling ducks. On other days its egrets and herons that dominate the shallow shore line and swampy wetlands.

Brilliant common yellowthroats like to hide in the reeds, and a northern harrier or two can usually be seen circling in the sky above. One day I had to turn around because the path ahead was lined by huge alligators. I had Maggie that day and I decided I didn’t want her to become just a tasty morsel for those toothy jaws, not to mention that I didn’t want to become dinner either.

Observation tower midway along the hike around 40-Acre Lake. -- Photo by Pat Bean

This past week, it was the coots that dominated the lake. While not the most glamorous of birds, I love watching them. On this day, perhaps because I felt I was one with nature as I had the trail all to myself on this off-season, week-day, the coots let me get close enough to see the glow in their red eyes.

Bean’s Pat: The Fairy Tale Asylum: My Miss Havisham

 http://thefairytaleasylum.wordpress.com/ It’s Margaret Michell’s Scarlet O’Hara for me. I had read the book, “Gone With the Wind.” four times by the time I was 12.

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 “Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.” Louis L”Amour

While I haven't taken a walk through Alaska's wilderness, I have driven the Top of the World Highway past Chicken. It was an awesome drive. -- Wikipedia Photo

Book Talk

I just finished Lynn Schooler’s “Walking Home,” a true story about Alaska, Mother Nature’s fierce side, a crippled grizzly bear that wanted to eat a human, and coping with loss.

Lynn survived the bear, plus a raging creek, and heart-wrenching, although self-imposed, solitude – I’m not giving away the ending because of course he had to survive to write the book – with the comment that his next adventure might just be a drive in a rented car around Hawaii.

“Why not? I am fifty-five years old; they are all victory laps now.”

He said a whole lot more that resonated with who this wandering/wondering, nature-loving old broad is, but that comment made me laugh with joy. I’m 72 years old so certainly my life is now nothing but victory laps. It’s fun to think of it that way.

And I spent all day in a bus traveling this road in Denali National Park to Wonder Lake. Mount McKinley, shown above, hid behind the clouds for most of that day. -- Wikipedia photo

Lynn said it after surviving an awesome environment that suddenly turned mean and realizing that his wife no longer wanted to be with him.

His book, one of those slow-reading ones so you have time to ponder the words, made me think of the things I had survived. While nothing so deadly as Lynn’s adventure, I had survived my own marital breakup, teenage-children with rebellion in their makeup, 37 years as a journalist and even being thrown out of a raft in the middle of a raft-eating rapid on the Colorado River as it flowed through the Grand River.

These are indeed my victory-lap years. Thanks Lynn for allowing me to think of them this way.

Bean’s Pat: Everywhere Once: American Safari http://tinyurl.com/7932lx2 Who said you had to go to Africa to be on safari?


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